Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Brian Boggs Chairmaking Class, Day 5

14 August 2006

Day 5: Wrap-up

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s over — it’s a little surreal, honestly.
Boggs discussed the two primary differences between his chairs and the classic post-and-rung chairs.
1) His rear legs have a below-the-seat rear curve of 12 degrees. This helps prevent tipping — it’s a lot of work to lean back in that chair, so people don’t. Beyond 12 degrees, legs are more likely to break during assembly. The rear legs splay out to the sides as well as to the back, so each side has three different rung lengths.
2) The front corners are tenoned into slats, much like the stool covered in the FWW article (July/Aug 2001).
Typically, the back (above the seat) carries about 17% of the body load. The further the back tilts, the higher this number.
He designed his front corners based on Queen Anne country chairs with seats covered in bullrush. He tried to sell bullrush chairs, but, well, they didn’t.
In something flexible, all the weight concentrates on the point of inflexibility (e.g. where the rungs connect).
He puts no shoulders on rungs. The shoulders probably won’t hold up anyway, so it’ll be visually distracting. Plus, stress concentrates at the point of sudden change of dimension.
When turning rungs, he turns the tenon first.
“I’m ready to demonstrate seat weaving and y’all ain’t doin’ nothin’, so I don’t know what to do about that.”
99% of what he covered was also on the video he’s got out from LN; I highly recommend watching that if you want to use hickory bark.
Use your bigger rolls (of hickory bark) for the warp (front-to-back). Tighten the roll up so it’ll stay in a roll as you work.
Soak hickory bark in hot tap water for about 1/2 hour.
Use a girth hitch for the first hitch.
One advantage of a tapered (front-to-back) seat is that it gives you a chance to clean up the edges. Boggs weaves a tapered seat in about 45 minutes; an un-tapered seat in about 25 minutes. He prefers the tapered seats because they look neater.
Eyeball (or mark) the quarters to sync up the front and back when weaving a tapered seat.
Good tension for warp: when the bark stops on its own when you hit the bottom row.
If you have one rough edge on your bark, keep that on the same side as your hand so it’s easier to cut.
Bark from Boggs is rolled with the good side out.
Someone asked how he got the bark smooth, did he sand it? Lightly, he said. “What’s made that bark smooth is the back of people’s britches.”
When creating a knot, make the tongue for the knot about 1/4″ wide.
The whole bark of a hickory tree is about 1/2″ thick. Boggs takes the inner 2/10″ and cuts it into two layers. The inner layer he calls first cut (and doesn’t sell; it’s reserved for his clients only); the outer cut he calls second cut and that’s what we were using.
And we all assembled our chairs. Several people (but not me) wove their seats. I figured that would be easier to do after arriving home.
After class and after I packed my car up, I got to meet up with Steve Knight of Knight Toolworks and GregP — had a great time!
More pics will be up soon, but perhaps not until I arrive home. I’m TIRED.

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